Today, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved Urban Agriculture Zoning Text Amendments that address market gardening, use of hoop houses, and the construction of raised beds, among other things. The Land Stewardship Project sent out the following press in reaction to the news.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Land Stewardship Project (LSP) applauded the passage today of zoning and planning rules that will help promote the production and consumption of local food in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved Urban Agriculture Zoning Text Amendments that, among other things, address market gardening, use of hoop houses and the construction of raised beds. Most importantly, produce grown within city limits can be sold for market, creating more food security within the city, and opening up avenues for food related businesses, according to LSP organizer Anna Cioffi.
“This is an historic day for the City of Minneapolis,” said Cioffi. “For the first time since 1963, people will be allowed to grow food commercially in the city. Having urban agriculture as part of the city zoning plan is a huge step toward making the production and consumption of local food a key part of our communities.”
The text amendments will allow the use of hoop houses on residential property while making it possible for market gardeners to sell directly to customers from their sites for 15 days per year. Commercial growing will be allowed on a large scale at urban farms in industrial districts, and on a smaller scale at market gardens in low-density residential areas. People will also be allowed to grow food commercially in their own backyards, and be able to sell it from their property. In addition, aquaponics will be allowed within the city limits.
“It’s going to open the door for food entrepreneurship in Minneapolis, while renewing the relationship between city land and the food that we’re eating,” said Cioffi.
The City Council has indicated that after the first year of implementation of these amendments, it will revisit such issues as expanding the number of days market gardeners can sell from their properties.
During the past two years, LSP staff and members have been focusing on making urban agriculture a critical player in the community life of Minneapolis. In 2009, the City of Minneapolis decided through recommendations put forth by Homegrown Minneapolis to pursue the development of “a city-wide topical plan on community gardens and urban agriculture.”
“I’d like to commend all the farmers, gardeners, restaurateurs, and other supporters of urban agriculture who propelled these amendments forward over the past few years,” said Cioffi. “It will be exciting to see this sector of the economy grow and live up to its potential.”
[where: Sustainable Food, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Twin Cities, Minnesota]